RI Congressional Delegation Announces $385K in Fire & Rescue Funds for Lincoln, Narragansett, and Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and
Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced new federal funding to help
fire departments in Lincoln, Narragansett, and Pawtucket purchase new equipment.
The funding is made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s
(FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).

The Saylesville Fire District will use $59,048 in federal funds to purchase a new
cascade air tank filling station to replace an outdated system and ensure it is
compliant with current safety standards. The cascade air system is critical to a
firefighter’s respiratory system protection. The Fire District’s current cascade
air system is over thirty years old and is nearing its end of useful life. The new,
integrated replacement system has three fill stations with four bottles and will
have the capacity to fill at higher pressures, which is required of all new air
packs.

The Narragansett Fire Department will use a $220,953 federal grant to further
operations and safety training for firefighters and to purchase five new cardiac
monitors/defibrillators that are carried on all primary response Engines and
Rescues. Funding will provide NFPA-1041 Fire Instructor training to members of the
Narragansett Fire Department, as well as to firefighters or officers throughout the
state. The Narragansett Fire Department will also purchase five state of the art
cardiac monitors/defibrillators, which will allow the department to replace their
current units that are outdated. Many of Narragansett’s current monitors have been
in service far longer than the recommended eight year lifespan of the product. This
upgrade will greatly increase the department’s capabilities, reduce repair costs,
and increase reliability.

The Pawtucket Fire Department will receive $105,519 in federal funds to purchase
three new power stretchers for use in their Emergency Medical Services division.
This investment will increase patient and firefighter safety and allow greater
efficiency for emergency medical response.

«This new equipment and training will enhance safety and help our firefighters and
paramedics save lives. At a time of constrained budgets, I am pleased we are able
to deliver federal funding to better equip our first responders and help them
protect our communities,» said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations
Committee, who helped make $306 million available for the AFG program in the
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, (Pub. L. 113-76) and annually
hosts fire grant workshops to help fire departments apply for these grants.

«Firefighters are the first on the scene in most emergencies, and they deserve the
tools to do their jobs safely and effectively in any situation they face,» said
Senator Whitehouse. «These federal grants will provide firefighters in Pawtucket,
Narragansett, and Lincoln with equipment and training that will help them better
protect their communities.»

«From Narragansett to Lincoln and beyond, Rhode Island Fire Departments are pursuing
every possible funding opportunity at their disposal and are going above and beyond
to deliver high-quality public safety services in every corner of our state,» said
Congressman Jim Langevin. «Congratulations to this round of grant award winners.
Your work benefits all Rhode Islanders, and our communities are safer because of
it.»

«Rhode Island’s Fire Departments deserve the best, and this funding will ensure that
our firefighters are equipped to handle a variety of threats to our communities,»
said Congressman David Cicilline. «The Assistance to Firefighter Grant program is
critical to municipalities upgrading their capabilities without saddling residents
with additional taxes. I know that the safety of firefighters and the communities
they serve will be enhanced because of these federal funds.»

«The Saylesville Fire Department and the taxpayers of Saylesville are fortunate to
receive this funding,» said Captain Alan Laird of the Saylesville Fire Department.
«The AFG program continues to be a great help to our organization and we appreciate
the strong support the Rhode Island congressional delegation has been of the program
and our department. The funding awarded will allow us to replace our obsolete, 30
year-old air cascade system. This is a tremendous improvement for the health and
safety of our fire firefighters. In addition, if the department did not receive
this grant, our taxpayers would have seen an unfavorable impact on their tax rate,
just to replace this piece of equipment.»

«The Assistance to Firefighters grant program is very important to the fire service
and we are glad to have been chosen for 2 awards for the 2015 performance year.
Senators Reed and Whitehouse, along with Congressman Langevin have all been very
supportive throughout the entire process and remain longtime advocates of this
valuable program. We could not have achieved this level of success without their
help and support of this program. The Northeast FEMA grant representatives have
been an excellent resource throughout the submission and award process. They have
been great to work with and are a true asset to the fire service,» said Narragansett
Fire Chief Scott M. Partington.

«The City of Pawtucket, the Pawtucket Fire Department, and Mayor Donald Grebien are
very grateful to receive an AFG grant to purchase power stretchers and power loading
units. The new technology will not only help with the health and well-being of our
firefighters due to the strenuous activities associated with lifting, loading and
unloading patients but also provide our citizens with a smoother more comfortable
transition during transport. Special thanks is owed to Rhode Island’s entire federal
delegation for all they do to help our state’s first responders,» said Pawtucket
Fire Chief William J. Sisson.

Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the
state successfully secure over $27.3 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment
upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.